Adam Price AM & Jonathan Edwards MP join Police Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn to safeguard local jobs
Local politicians Adam Price and Jonathan Edwards have said there is a positive case to retain ambulance services in Carmarthenshire. Their comments follow the evaluation exercise the Wales Ambulance Service Trust has undertaken on the future of its services.
The Ambulance Clinical Contact Centre is currently based in Llangunnor and employs around 160 members of staff in its emergency response and patient transfer services.
The Wales Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) is evaluating three proposals:
- No chance to the current operation;
- Bi-service centre in Llangunnor with Dyfed Powys Police;
- Tri-service option in Bridgend with South Wales Police and South Wales and Mid & West Fire and Rescue Services.
Carmarthenshire County Council and Police Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn have also met with the Ambulance Service Trust to discuss future opportunities for the service to be retained in the county.
Assembly Member Adam Price met with both Ambulance Trust and Trade Union representatives in the National Assembly. He said his discussions showed there was even a case to extend services in Llangunnor.
A Board meeting of the Wales Ambulance Service Trust will meet at the end of March to discuss responses to the evaluation exercise which concluded on Friday 3rd March.
Speaking after submitting his formal response, Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Adam Price said:
"I've been informed by the Ambulance Service representatives that they have received positive and comprehensive engagement from both our Police Commissioner and Carmarthenshire County Council which, they said, provided greater options for them to consider over and above their initial three proposals.
"Based on my understanding of these additional proposals, there appears to be a very positive case in favour of retaining and even expanding Ambulance services in Carmarthenshire.
"Jonathan Edwards and I have now submitted our response which outlines the key arguments presented to us by trade unions and the workforce in favour of retaining the clinical contact centre in Llangunnor."
Jonathan Edwards MP added:
"Our response to the Ambulance Service concentrates on both economical and clinical arguments in favour of retaining services in Llangunnor. Staff members point out to us that they see no clinical benefits or patient improvements by a move to Bridgend.
"Information we've gathered suggests more than half of the current workforce would have to look for alternative employment if services are moved. We also know that centralisation of services to the M4 corridor would disproportionately affect female staff. This is a deep concern to both Adam and I. Thankfully, however, all of the discussions and meetings we've had have enabled us to present a positive case in favour of Llangunnor.
"The Ambulance Service Trust was particularly impressed with the engagement of the County Council and the Police Commissioner who are working closely to present an exciting vision for the service in the county. We look forward to seeing the results of this dialogue."
Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn also met with the Ambulance Trust. Commissioner Llywelyn added:
"It's fair to say that I and my fellow elected representatives in Carmarthenshire are leaving no stone unturned in our endeavour to secure the future of Llangunnor's clinical contact centre which is currently based at the police headquarters.
"There is a great deal of scope for emergency services, such as the police, to have greater partnerships with ambulance services. That is why I am working with WAST to realise a vision for improved and even expanded services at Llangunnor.
"Rather than centralising services away from rural west Wales, I want to make west Wales the centre of excellence.
"My discussions with the ambulance service have presented more opportunities for them to consider. I know Carmarthenshire can offer the ambulance service all it needs to meet the future demands of the service."